Oxfordshire landlords are being warned, after a fraudster believed to have conned dozens of publicans across the country struck in Woodstock.

Police have launched a national manhunt for the swindler, who steals cheque books to pay for food and accommodation in the next pub he stays at.

In one pub, he ran up a bar bill of £120 in one night, and has used one stolen cheque book to make fraudulent payments of £10,000.

Det Sgt Dave Trotter, of Avon and Somerset Constabulary's serious crime group, which is leading the investigation, said: "This man has been stealing from all over the country.

"Once he gets the confidence of the landlord, he steals - if the opportunity arises - taking cheque books, cash and jewellery. He then moves on to the next pub or inn and continues his trail of crime. The offending runs into hundreds of crimes, and many publicans have fallen victim to him losing unpaid bills, cash-back and unpaid services."

He declined to name the Woodstock pub targeted.

Detectives believe he has travelled extensively. Oxfordshire is one of 15 counties he has visited.The man is described as white, 6ft 1in tall, of proportionate build, with a strong Yorkshire accent.

He is usually clean-shaven with receding thinning hair, which he is known to dye.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.